We want to give Russell as many balls to face as possible: Karthik

Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) skipper Dinesh Karthik on Saturday said that KKR will continue to bat Andre Russell higher up after their 18-run defeat to Delhi Capitals (DC) in another high-scoring thriller at the Sharjah International Cricket Stadium.

Russell came in at no. 4 for KKR and scored 13 off eight balls. He had taken the no. 4 spot in their previous match as well but was in the lower middle order for KKR’s first and second matches of the ongoing IPL season.

“We trust him (Russell) and believe he is the best in the business, we want to give him enough time to create an impact on the game and that’s something we want to encourage,” Karthik said after the match on Saturday.

He, however, indicated that KKR will have a discussion on whether to stop using Sunil Narine as an opener. While Narine’s pinch-hitting at the top of the order has helped KKR in the past, he has not managed to get going with the bat this season, managing scores of 3, 15, 0, 9 and 4 thus far.

“I haven’t thought about it (making the change at the top) but maybe after this game I will sit down with the coaching staff. We still believe in Narine and whenever he gets going he gets us off to a great start,” he said.

Karthik said that he was proud of the way the team fought while chasing an improbable target of 229 runs on Saturday. KKR were limited to 210/8.

“The way the boys batted is something I am really proud of, we kept fighting till the end which is the nature of our team. Really happy with the effort we put in today. Maybe in between 10th and 13th overs we didn’t get many boundaries, we lost a couple of wickets as well which sets you back in such run chases. To be honest, couple more sixes and we would have crossed the line, we wouldn’t be talking about the lengths,” he said.